Alberta Politics

alberta politics notes 5/13/2011

Hancock astray on Education
Parents are holding a “don’t drop the ball” stop the cuts rally at the Legislature on May 29, calling on Minister Dave Hancock to stop layoffs in schools that would affect the quality of K-12 education in Alberta. In a recent interview with CBC Radio, Minister Hancock said that class sizes had little effect on a child’s education and the education students looking for jobs as teachers in Alberta would need to slug it out. The recent Education budget cuts mixed with his recent comments raises the question about how much influence Minister Hancock actually has among his PC cabinet colleagues.

Minister Hancock participated in a flash mob earlier this week…

Tears in Tory wallpaper
Two-term Calgary-Hays MLA Art Johnston was defeated by Rick Fraser in his attempt to be his party’s candidate in the new Calgary-South East constituency. With a low-turnout for PC nominations, Mr. Johnston was defeated 78-74. Mr. Johnston now has the option of seeking the PC nomination in the redrawn Calgary-Hays.

As noted in a post last week, three-term PC backbencher Alana DeLong is facing a nomination challenge from Lars Lehmann that will take place on May 14.

Tough guy Rick Orman
Billing himself as “The Right Choice” for the job of PC Party leader, former cabinet minister Rick Orman has some tough talk for his party.

Alberta’s NDP Bill 208: Guaranteeing Public Healthcare for Our Future
NDP MLA Brian Mason introduced Bill 208 in the final days of the Spring sitting of the Assembly. The NDP are billing this piece of legislation as a law that would “shield public health care from the attacks it is facing.”

Liberals appoint Interim leader
The Liberal Party approved their leadership contest rules last weekend and appointed outgoing leader David Swann as the interim leader until the contest, set to conclude on September 10, chooses a new leader. Edmonton MLA Laurie Blakeman is kicking off her leadership campaign on May 15.

Energy Superboard
Energy Minister Ron Liepert must like something about Superboards that he is not telling us.

3 replies on “alberta politics notes 5/13/2011”

Dave, its seems PC’s cant’ manage anything: Health, Energy, now Education. The loyal voters have to cease and desist this unwavering blind allegiance to the PC flag.

While PC’s are great servants to the corporations, they just don’t have the mandate anymore to govern effectively.

You forgot to also mention that MLA Dr. Raj Sherman was running for leadership of the Liberals as well.

Ron LIE-perts Energy Super-board also has gained jurisdiction over water rights in Alberta and as soon as it was announced, Hershey Chocolate made announcements, it wants to export Alberta water for its own business. PC’s are not public servants, but corporate servants. Doing business here is so easy that with the PC’s in power, corporations don’t even need to lobby. They get all for free, no taxes.

Its jaw dropping how asleep people are and not even questioning all this, especially Tory voters.

A few sligh nudges of public admonishment, and the PC brand will be on a slippery slope. Let’s hope it happens.

Re Education: some years ago, the PC government took away from public school boards their authority to set their own revenues and to negotiate with their teachers, centralizing both the determination of tax rates and collective bargaining in the hands of Edmonton. However, the school boards still have to pay for teacher pay settlements. What happened to “who pays the piper calls the tune”? The school boards have to pay the piper alright, but they don’t get to call the tune. Is it because neither Stelmach nor Klein before him, not being Scottish, had ever heard that saying? 😉

In the Grande Prairie area, all three school boards are facing budgetary pressures and teacher layoffs. The Peace Wapiti school board, in particular, which serves the rural area around the City of Grande Prairie, is under the most severe fiscal stress, facing serious cost escalations in the area of student transportation. Many PWSD students ride school buses for well over an two and a half hours per day, and route consolidations needed to manage those costs may increase that to over three hours a day .
If they choose not to make those route changes, they will instead have to cut so many teachers that the students may ride the bus to school only to find nobody there to teach them.

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